World in motion
ACI World’s external relations manager, Bojana Jeremic, reports on ACI and IATA’s roadmap for the recovery of the aviation industry post COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought airports around the world to a virtual standstill and continues to have a dramatic impact on the wider aviation ecosystem. Most airports are operating at vastly reduced capacity, and almost all have introduced operational measures to deal with the ongoing crisis.
ACI World now estimates a reduction of more than 4.6 billion passengers and more than $97 billion in revenue across all regions for 2020. Travel restrictions and lockdown measures introduced in response to the pandemic continue to remain an existential threat to the aviation industry unless governments can provide sustainable and effective relief measures.
For airport operators the main aim remains the same – to protect the health and welfare of travellers and staff, and to reduce opportunities for the further spread of the virus.
As the aviation sector prepares to resume operations, ACI World and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have called on governments to ensure any new measures introduced for airports and airline are supported by scientific evidence and are consistent across the world.
Collaboration and unity between states, airports, airlines, and other international organisations will be essential for the global recovery of aviation.
The two organisations have jointly issued a paper laying out a pathway for restarting the aviation industry – Safely Restarting Aviation – ACI and IATA Joint Approach.
Airlines and airports have co-operated to build a roadmap for an eventual re-start of operations, which reassures passengers that health and safety remain the top priority.
The joint recommendations propose a layered approach of measures across the entire passenger journey to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at airports and onboard aircraft, and to prevent aviation becoming a meaningful source of international re-infection.
Such measures should be globally consistent and subject to continued review, improvement, and removal when no longer required, to ensure an even recovery.
ACI and IATA are both central members the COVID-19 Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) being led by the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
CART enables the collaboration – among governments and between governments and industry – that is vital to ensure the harmonisation and consistency of measures that are essential to restoring air connectivity and passenger confidence in air travel.
“Airports and airlines have come together with ICAO and the wider aviation industry to address the biggest challenge ever faced by commercial aviation in restarting a global industry while continuing to halt the spread of COVID-19,” says ACI World director general, Angela Gittens said.
“There is currently no single measure that could mitigate all the risks of restarting air travel but we believe a globally-consistent, outcome-based approach represents the most effective way of balancing risk mitigation with the need to unlock economies and to enable travel.”
As airports and the entire aviation ecosystem face the challenges of COVID-19, ACI World continues to be led by its members’ needs, and diligently provides relevant data and guidance to help airports survive and recover from the global crisis.